The Punchdown returns to Oakland

Soft opening tonight.

Štoka Vitovska

Sitting at the bar it feels very much like a more spacious, more comfortable version of the old space.

Even closer to BART.

Great news. I missed having it around.

I hung out for most of then evening and had tastes of ten or more of these. Every one was delicious. (I didn’t order a few wines I was pretty sure would be more interesting than tasty.)

4 of us went last night and had a great time. I ended up with some more interesting than tasty, but still tasty.

Only one of everything we ordered was not good (4 way consensus).

Very nice space, they were certainly happy to see us, and were thrilled to be open. We stopped in for a glass of wine after dinner, and ended up spending over 2 hours, clearly exceeding the “glass of wine” stop.

This has become a once to twice a month stop, more frequently than their old spot. And I finally tasted something that was vile! I like interesting, and occasionally there’s something that I don’t care for, but this was exceptional! Of course, I washed it down with plenty of delicious. A few times I’ve been (including once on a weeknight), they were slammed, which I was happy to see. I also finally perused in the bottle shop, and am now tempted to try a few of what’s inside that climate controlled room.

If something’s seriously unpalatable, send it back. They appreciate the feedback.

They had a wine recently that was drinkable and interesting when first opened but fell apart and got nasty within maybe an hour.

A year later, this continues to be a regular stop. I note how many of my other posts include a Punchdown stop en route. We love, love, love this place. Sometimes it is just for a glass of happy hour wine. Sometimes it is much more, including a light meal.

Lapin & Loire pop-up: hot dog (above) and boudin blanc

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We also enjoyed the above. We ordered one of everything - hot dog, boudin blanc, green, and potato salad. All very good. Loved the boudin blanc. Didn’t love the particular wine pairing, but didn’t dislike it, either.

I wish we had received more notice of this. We were already enjoying a long over-indulgent brunch when we got the message. How was the food?




Great meal with great pairings. The beef tartare was like a non-spicy larb used to dress a butter lettuce salad, I never had anything like that before. The romesco was another standout. My appetite was flagging by the time I got the cassoulet.

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Reopened on the 15th.

New pkhali plate. Today it was cabbage, beet, and kale.

Expanded tinned fish menu.

New Danish producer on the tinned fish menu, Fangst. These were good, kind of similar to sardines but softer. Seemed like more food than I was expecting but maybe it’s just that I usually split a tin with somebody. Next time I’ll try the No. 1 with heather and chamomile.

Sarah Kirnon (Miss Ollie’s) Holder’s House pop-up

Devoured the sweet potatoes before I thought to take a photo. Best sweet potatoes I’ve ever had, I’ll have to try to make something like that.

The saltfish & ackee was great, first time that dish has made sense to me.

Best fried chicken around as always. Next time I’ll remember to ask for dark meat. Greens were nice as a foil.

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Expanded menu. Above is Tuscan bean soup. Pressed sandwiches are back.